This post was written by IU undergraduate students Catherine DeBruyn, Nuha Zakariya, Hannah Maluvac. It is the first in a series of featured stories written for a ScIU in the Classroom collaboration with Dr. Cathrine Reck in the Department of Chemistry.
Picture this: you are up for a big promotion and it all depends on finishing the massive project your boss gave you in the unreasonable time frame they set. You want that promotion, you need that promotion. So, you ask your friend for some of their AdderallTM, telling yourself “it’s just this once.” Despite its intended prescription for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to enhance focus, AdderallTM is widely abused as a cognitive enhancer, to make your brain work better and faster. Students often use it to help cram for tests and it is even used in the professional world in competitive industries, such as finance and coding, to improve performance. Though AdderallTM can be helpful in many cases, what many people do not know is that it is addictive and can be dangerous when used recreationally. But why is that?